Tag Archives: “Wayne Pacelle”

The Dirty, Low-Rent Ethics of the “Big Lickers”

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Stacks

Written by: Heather Clemenceau

Passing a bill in the United States Congress is not exactly a walk in the park. The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act was introduced in response to a 2010 Report of the Inspector General at the United States Department of Agriculture. In that report, the Inspector General concluded that the current program for inspecting Tennessee Walking Horses (TWH) for soring abuse is not adequate because the inspectors are hired from participants in the shows and therefore have a conflict of interest.

The PAST Act seeks to ban any artificial devices aimed at changing a horse’s natural gait, including caustic chemicals, stacked shoes, and weights and chains, and is apparently stalled, despite widespread support. We can lay the blame for this directly at the feet of the scurrilous crowd trying to halt this national effort to eradicate the abuse of TWH horses. This abuse has been illegal under federal law for more than 40 years. It’s also illegal under the state laws of Kentucky and Tennessee to intentionally injure the hooves and legs of horses to cause them to exaggerate their gait during “Big Lick” horse shows, all for the purpose of winning ribbons. In the meantime, horses are still being subjected to stacked shoes, caustic chemicals, and chains while we wait for Congress.

Part of the toe still remains attached to the shoe

Part of the toe still remains attached to the shoe

Wayne Pacelle, (CEO) of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recently compared horse sorers to cockfighters:

“ These people, like the cockfighters, are scofflaws. They are actively working in the political domain – in this case, lobbying against pending federal legislation, H.R. 1518 and S. 1406, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act — to protect their criminal enterprise.”

Passing the Bill, which would eliminate the corrupt self-policing system while strengthening penalties for violators, is the only way to save the TWH breed.  Americans need to demand that Congress pass this Bill, with its overwhelming support, and not let a minority of self-interested animal abusers block a vote.

For all the efforts of horse advocates,  there is no shortage of  crazily-unethical supporters of continued abuse….

Applause for:

  • Ed Whitfield, ( R-KY) is the lead sponsor of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which would strengthen federal protections for TWH in order to make them step higher in competitions. Whitfield’s legislation would require that inspections of Tennessee Walking Horses for signs of soring be performed by USDA certified inspectors. Whitfield recently released a redacted document Tuesday showing how a complaint filed against him with the House Ethics Committee appeared to involve major players in the TWH industry, despite denials from some of them. Whitfield denied that his wife had lobbied him on the issue, saying his interest in curtailing soring predated her involvement with the Humane Society of the United States, Connie Whitfield is a “policy adviser” with the group.
  • Congressmen Steve Cohen (D-TN), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Jim Moran (D-VA) who are co-sponsors of the Bill.
  • Marty Irby, a reformed “Big Licker” who is now a evangelic “Flatter.” Marty was also 2 time president of the TWHBEA (2010 – 2012) and is presently the International Walking Horse Association Legislative Counsel advocating for passing of the PAST Act. His decision to become an anti-soring advocate cost him his marriage and his contracting business, His father, William Irby, a Tennessee Walking Horse trainer, no longer speaks to him. A former world champion TWH competitor, Irby said he finally grew disgusted with pretending that soring wasn’t an integral part of creating the “Big Lick.” Irby says the ongoing practice of soring is perpetuated by a system of “corrupt animal welfare inspections, corrupt judging, corrupt training methods, corrupt business practices … corrupt horse shows, and corrupt titles.”
  • Bill Harlin, a man The Tennessean describes as “synonymous with Tennessee Walking Horses,” and the owner of Harlinsdale Farm where some of the most famous grand champions in the breed originated. He acknowledges that
    lost-hoof

    Toe and hoof wall still attached. What did this horse’s hoof look like after this shoe was pulled off?

    self-regulation will never work.

  • Clay Harlin, son of Bill Harlin, who also acknowledges that the soring cult of the “Big Lick” are unwilling to stop the abuse of show horses. He, too, called on Congress to pass the bill.
  • Veterinarian John C. Haffner, who recently related that his increasing exposure to ever more blatant abuse of horses compelled him to sell his veterinary practice. After years of witnessing trainers’ efforts to make sure their horses were in enough pain to perform the “Big Lick” but not so much that they’d fail inspections, he found the corruption to be unendurable.
  • American Veterinary Medical Association Dr. Whitney Miller, assistant director for the AVMA, scoffed at Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN-7) Bill, H.R. 4098 saying, “In fact (it) will do nothing to protect gaited horses and stop the egregious practice of soring. This legislation is nothing more than an attempt to maintain the status quo in an industry riddled with abuse and will ensure that the broken system of seeing horses sored at an alarming rate does not have to answer for its crimes.”
  • American Association of Equine Practitioners
  • National Sheriffs Association
  • Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  • The American Horse Council, along with The American Quarter Horse Association, the American Paint Horse Association, the American Morgan Horse Association, the Pinto Horse Association of America, the Arabian Horse Association, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, the Appaloosa Horse Club, Maryland Horse Council, and other groups.
  • The more than 300 co-sponsors of the PAST Act – a majority of the Congress (45 Senators and 264 House members at the time of writing)
  • The Veterinary Medical Associations from 50 states that have helped create vast support for this Bill

soring5And a steaming pile of horse shit goes to:

  • The Performance Show Horse Association that brought the complaint against Whitfield. The printed names of the following 13 individuals appear on the bottom of the document (these individuals have a cumulative total of 53 violations of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), and a number of those have occurred this year following the filing of the complaint) The  PSHA and its lobbyist Jeff Speaks developed the strategy of filing an ethics complaint as an effort to stop passage of H.R. 1518,  because ethics complaints take time to respond to:
  • Jim Cortner
  • Jamie Hankins
  • Mike Inman (CEO of The Celebration)
  • Doyle Meadows (Former CEO of The Celebration)
  • Duke Thorson
  • Terry Dotson (Former Chairman of the Performance Show Horse Association)
  • Gayle Holcomb
  • Bruce MacDonald
  • Mickey McCormick (President of the Walking Horse Trainers Association)
  • James Linton Griffith
  • Jeffrey Howard (Editor of the Walking Horse Report)
  • Lee Wall McGartland
  • and Buddy Stasney
  • Chip Weddington, a TWH trainer who threatened Marty Irby less than 24 hours after Irby testified on Capitol Hill about the horrifying abuse of championship Tennessee Walking Horses. Irby received threatening message which came from the Facebook account of Weddington, who wrote, “I don’t associate myself with bitch made mother fuckers who sing like little fucking birds to the fucking [Humane Society of the United States] and everybody else … I hope your gay ass gets what’s coming to you soon!!!” If Irby ever approached him, Weddington said he would “knock ur ass smooth out!!!” According to USDA animal welfare reports, in 2011 Weddington was suspended from Walking Horse shows for a year after inspectors cited him for violating the Horse Protection Act.
  • The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association who canned Marty Irby and selected soring proponent Stephen B. Smith to replace him. The group also sent a letter to Congress detailing its opposition to the PAST TWH_with_StacksAct. Signed by current president Rob Cornelius, the letter states that due to “budgetary costs and resulting economic damage, the PAST Act is simply not something our country needs at this time.”
  • Stephen Smith, the newly minted TWHBEA President, is an avid “Big Licker” enthusiast and a powerful Republican political donor. According to forms listing violators of the Horse Protection Act, Smith was cited numerous times for soring violations at a TWH show in the late 1980’s. Smith and his family are major donors to GOP lawmakers in Tennessee, including Rep. Blackburn, the chief opponent of the PAST Act. Since 1989, Smith, his wife Denise, and their son Stephen B. Smith, Jr., have donated more than $270,000 to Republican political campaigns, most of them in Tennessee.
  • The discreditable crowd  who are desperately trying to halt a national effort to eradicate horse abuse of TWH horses with their own Bill.   Not shockingly, 7 of the 10 are from Tennessee, the epi-center of this sadistic method of “training.” Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7) recently introduced an alternative bill, HR 4098, that would greatly reduce the measures being sought by Whitfield’s PAST Act. Blackburn’s Bill would not only allow the grotesque stacks but would also virtually eliminate inspection efforts called for in the PAST Act that are necessary to stop this torture.
  • The rest of the ethically challenged co-sponsors of Blackburn’s Bill are:
  • Diane Black (R-TN-6)
  • Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-4)
  • John “Jimmy” Duncan (R-TN-2)
  • Stephen Fincher (R-TN-8)
  • Charles “Chuck” Fleischmann (R-TN-3)
  • David “Phil” Roe (R-TN-1)
  • The three others who have endorsed Blackburn’s bill are Garland “Andy” Barr (R-KY-6)
  • Nick Rahall (D-WV-3)
  • and Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY-5)
  • Virgina TWHBEA Director Pam McKinney who was escorted from the Capitol Hill’s Walk on Washington by U.S. Capitol Police for improper conduct, which included the utterance of F-bombs and flipping the middle-finger salute.
  • The misguided attempt by random pro-slaughters, urban carriage people, and puppymillers, who had to get on the “ethics complaint bandwagon” against Whitfield with their own Change.org petition that has garnered only 244 signatures.
  • And finally, Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the PAST Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision is inconsistent with leadership’s stated preference for adhering to regular order.  Furthermore, it is too late in the year to resort to a discharge petition according to House rules.
  • The "Wheelon Bucket Stance"

    The “Wheelon Bucket Stance”

 

Please contact your U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative today and urge them to co-sponsor the PAST Act, H.R. 1518/S.1406, and do all they can to get it enacted quickly.

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Myths, Half-Truths, and Lies of the Commercial Carriage Horse Industry

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Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

In 2007, Bill Thompson, then New York City Comptroller, announced the findings of an audit that cited numerous problems in the carriage horse industry. That same year, Queens councilman Tony Avella introduced a Bill to abolish the carriages outright. Several years later the carriage-horse industry and some of its opponents got together and hammered out a Bill raising carriage fares and mandating larger stable stalls and the five-week vacation for horses. It now became law that the working horses must fall between five and 26 years old, and they have been banned from traversing certain streets and from working from 3 and 7 a.m. But now, the carriage industry, long the subject of controversy, seems poised to end. The deaths and injuries of the horses has prompted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, to vow to eliminate them completely as part of his campaign promise.

City carriages are romantic

Dense traffic and on a phone

Many people feel that the carriages themselves are at odds with the dense traffic and sounds of the city.  Horses and cars do not mix well and when there is a collision it is always the horse (and passengers) who will be worse off for it.  The carriage trade likes to represent that there have been only three horse deaths due to vehicular traffic since 1985, but there is documentation for many more accidents even in the last few years.  In addition,  several horses died of heatstroke,  and one horse died crashing into a tree,  but the industry typically excludes these from their “death count” because they don’t consider them “traffic related.”  But if a carriage horse dies while in harness and put to a carriage – it is indeed a carriage industry death,  and to parlay it otherwise is just obfuscation on the part of the industry.  There is no law requiring the ASPCA to release the details of carriage accidents and therefore it is impossible to know how many have occurred that have not been directly witnessed or documented by animal advocates such as those working with The Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn CarriagesNYCLASS,  and others.

Since the carriage industry has resisted reform in the past and insists on churning out falsehoods and half-truths, they’re fair game for some myth-busting. Disconcertingly, a small minority of industry supporters are also prepared to malign and harass horsepeople who dare to disagree with their stance.  There seems to be an unwritten rule that carriage drivers in particular MUST support this industry no matter what infractions are observed.  Anti-slaughter proponents will be dismayed to note that the industry, represented by the Teamsters union, have aligned themselves with a few characters from the United Horsemen’s group as well as the anti-animal puppymill promoters and horse-soring defenders, the Cavalry Group.  Working with a group that generally opposes any type of minimal animal protection as a rule will have animal lovers reject your position outright and fail to give you any support whatsoever.

I’ve always had a interest in debunking false lore and hoaxes.  Usually I’ve spent my time debunking pseudo science, near-death experiences, and alien abductions, but the same flaws in thinking/rationalizing that lead to those belief systems can be found elsewhere.  And the carriage horse proponents don’t disappoint!  They continue to be dogmatic in their approach and persist in their beliefs even after shown evidence to the contrary.

1.  Will Bill S5013-2011 Permit the Seizure of the Privately Owned Carriage Horses?

Carriage horse rear

This has the potential to become a bolt by the carriage horse.

Making it so that you cannot operate a carriage in NYC is not seizing your property.  The Bill does not require that horses be sold or donated, but the Bill does define the circumstances under which sale or disposal or the horse shall be deemed humane.  While it does attempt to control what happens to the horses IF they are sold, it does not compel  them to be sold.  The Bill attempts to restrict the sale or donation of a horse to persons or groups who will keep them as “companion” animals and not “work horses,” obviously, in an attempt to keep them from being slaughtered.  It doesn’t seem to bother the fanatical carriage supporters that their new friends in the pro-slaughter Cavalry Group,  who are now handling some questionable public relations for them, would put all their horses in an express lane to the slaughter plants either.

Elsewhere in the Bill the definition of “work horse” is given as one who is presented for paid work as a carriage horse.  “Companion animal” is not defined in the Bill, but there is no restriction given on using the horse personally as a riding or driving horse.  Most animal advocates would understand that a “companion animal” is a horse that is a pet and not considered livestock;  a great many of us will describe our riding horses as companion animals.  There is also a legal definition that describes such an animal as “an animal that serves as a domestic pet,” but goes on to provide examples in case law that may include or exclude horses,  depending on the evidence of the relationship between the animal and its owner.  In any case, there is no need to perpetuate the hue and cry that the carriage horses will be seized,  but it is worth noting that the whole Bill is open to challenge on several issues and is unenforceable outside of New York State.  Although the Bill states that horses would not be “employable” as carriage horses,  I don’t see why a carriage horse could not be subsequently employed as a livery horse outside of high-density city.

Here’s the contentious passages in the Bill:

“B. A horse shall not be  sold  or  disposed  of  except  in  a  humane
manner,  WHICH, FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBCHAPTER SHALL MEAN ONE OF
THE FOLLOWING:
  1. THE OWNER SHALL SELL OR DONATE THE HORSE TO  A  PRIVATE  INDIVIDUAL
WHO SIGNS AN ASSURANCE THAT THE HORSE WILL NOT BE SOLD AND SHALL BE KEPT
SOLELY  AS  A  COMPANION  ANIMAL AND NOT EMPLOYED IN ANOTHER HORSE-DRAWN
CARRIAGE BUSINESS OR AS A WORK HORSE AND WILL BE CARED FOR HUMANELY  FOR
THE REMAINDER OF THE HORSE'S NATURAL LIFE; OR
  2.  THE  OWNER  SHALL  SELL OR DONATE THE HORSE TO A DULY INCORPORATED
ANIMAL SANCTUARY OR DULY  INCORPORATED  ANIMAL  PROTECTION  ORGANIZATION
WHOSE  PRESIDENT OR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SIGNS AN ASSURANCE THAT THE HORSE
WILL NOT BE SOLD AND SHALL BE KEPT SOLELY AS A COMPANION ANIMAL AND  NOT
EMPLOYED IN ANOTHER HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE BUSINESS OR AS A WORK HORSE AND
WILL  BE  CARED  FOR  HUMANELY  FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE HORSE'S NATURAL
LIFE.
  3. RECORDS INDICATING THE NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE  NUMBER  OF  THE
PRIVATE  INDIVIDUAL, DULY INCORPORATED ANIMAL SANCTUARY OR DULY INCORPO-
RATED ANIMAL PROTECTION ORGANIZATION TO  WHOM  THE  HORSE  WAS  SOLD  OR
DONATED TOGETHER WITH THE ASSURANCE SPECIFIED ABOVE SHALL BE SENT BY THE
OWNER  TO THE DEPARTMENT WITHIN FIVE DAYS AFTER SUCH SALE OR DONATION. A
COPY OF SUCH RECORD SHALL ALSO BE MAINTAINED AT THE STABLE.”

2.  Quoting Celebrities Does Not Give One’s Point More Authority

Oreo's acident in NYC - here he has been tranq'd

OREO’s accident in NYC – here he has been tranq’d.

Quite a few celebs have stepped forward to either condemn or praise the NYC carriage horse industry.  Neither side is particularly compelling in my opinion, at least, no more so that the average person.  The carriage supporters all loathe celebs such as  Pamela Anderson,  Lea Michele, Kathy Najimy,  and Alex Baldwin,  but they’ve really embraced Liam Neeson, who apparently counts several carriage drivers among his close personal friends.  “They’ll die, you know, darlin,’ The horses are incredibly well-treated. They’re regulated up the wazoo. They get five weeks’ holiday every year.  Tourists love them.”   Along with former Mayor Bloomberg, Neeson also perpetuates the opinion that they’ll all be slaughtered too, and it’ll be the fault of meddling big city liberals,  according to him.  Well if that were to happen, responsibility for that action would have to lie with the owners of the horses and nobody else.

Of all the celebs peripherally involved in the carriage trade, few are more hypocritical than Neeson. I’m calling out Neeson as a hypocrite since he ate the meat of a trapped wolf  to get in character for a role in the movie “The Grey” and then tried to fearmonger about horse slaughter.  If anything,  maybe he should become an anti-trapping spokesperson?  I didn’t realize that actors had to directly experience something like this to be considered a true method actor.  If he needed help to channel his rage for the movie, somebody should have suggested that he stick his hand in the trap instead.   Eating trapped animals, especially for something as trifling as a movie role is not cool.

And since he’s Irish, I hope he also concerned about the fate of horses in Ireland and elsewhere in Great Britain, where it’s popular to race horses on the M4 highways and evade the garda (police),  often crashing the horses and abandoning them, injured.  What about the huge problems with fly-grazing, where horses are illegally grazed on private property without the knowledge or consent of the owners of the property?  Indeed, Ireland has a huge crisis of horses, with up to 20,000 of the animals currently needing immediate intervention by authorities for abuse and cruelty.  But the next time he’s in town and hanging with his buddies on 59th street, perhaps he can get in-character by eating some oats that have been spilled out into the street amongst the pigeon droppings, just for authenticity’s sake of course.

3.  Is the NYC Carriage Trade Really a 155+ Year-Old Historic Occupation Built by Working Class Heroes?

Disclaimer:  The video below is NSFW (Not Safe for Work – due to language. Well,  it may be SFW if you work in an office where the “eff”word gets spit out more than any other word (examples: Bill O’Reilly’s office, Alec Baldwin’s office,  etc…)) Otherwise it’s headphones material. And we should be clear – it is not a criticism of the Irish or of immigrants in general.  I don’t know what if anything preceded it,  but it is not exactly characteristic of the pastoral charm that tourists envision when they think of Central Park and carriage horses.

But over 100 years ago, everyone was driving a horse and carriage in New York.  By the twenties, the horse-drawn carriage had been almost entirely replaced by the automobile.  So the current industry can hardly say that they harken back to those days,  since the current medallion ownership/licensing scheme is much more recent.  It’s rather analogous to saying that the airline industry is 87 years old as a result of Charles Lindbergh’s  flight from New York to Paris in 1927.  While it’s true that many of the carriage drivers (who are employed by the 68 medallion holders) who drive approximately 220 horses could probably be described as “working class,” the business operators in their primarily cash based business (no one knows exactly how much the industry contributes to NYC tax revenue) are hardly in that category.  They own the stables in which the horses reside in NYC and in my opinion, are living quite well. Several of them own more than one lucrative medallion.

It’s unclear what a medallion (license to operate a carriage business in NYC) is actually worth in present value terms. Some drivers said they paid $30,000 for their medallions 25 years ago. So obviously they are worth a considerable sum of money, given what the average income must be for the 68 medallion holders bringing in an estimated $15-$19 million dollars to the economy – an amount that has been corroborated by the Communications Liaison for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City.  Therefore, to determine how “working class” the industry is as a whole, a little arithmetic can be applied as follows:

$15,000,000/68 medallions = average gross income of $220,588 per medallion owner (low-balling the industry estimate)

$19,000,000/68 medallions = average gross income of $279,412 per medallion owner (applying the upper limit of the estimate)

Not holding onto the reins while getting out of carriage

Getting in and out of a carriage and hitching the horse to the carriage are the most dangerous times. At least hold onto the “reins” – don’t let them fall onto the wheels either. And don’t let passengers get in the carriage when you don’t actually have control of the horse and are not in the box seat!

That’s per medallion,  so if someone or a corporation owns more than one or half a medallion,  the calculations can be adjusted accordingly.  As a comparison,  the NYC tourism industry as a whole, in 2011, brought in about 34.5 billion dollars  Therefore, statements made in some of the glowing pro-carriage trade articles to the effect that the carriages are the main tourist attraction in NYC would seem to be unsupported.

So, in my opinion, the medallion owners, some of whom appear to be corporations or don’t even reside in the US,  are doing very well for themselves and their incomes are hardly typical of what we would consider “working class.”  I’m hardly opposed to any entrepreneur who can earn a comfortable living, but let’s be honest at least about what a “working class” income really is and what it is not.  The medallion owners are contractors or licensees,  and not actual employees of the city.

4.  How Restorative is the Mandated Five Weeks Vacation for NYC Carriage Horses?

There are many reasons why,  in my opinion, this mandated “vacation” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Especially if it isn’t actually a holiday if horses are  sent to Amish country for their R&R,  where they are, unbeknownst to the average person,  used as work horses on farms they are loaned to.

Many drafts and draft-crosses, the breeds typically used by the carriage trade, have some heritable muscle problems, such as equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (EPSM),  which has been confirmed or suspected in virtually every draft horse breed, draft cross-bred,  and draft mule.  The disease is responsible for severe muscle wasting and weakness, causing poor performance and abnormal hind limb gaits.  Afflicted horses benefit more greatly from daily turnout and structured breaks at regular intervals, and not all at once.  If they are furloughed, it also becomes more difficult to treat them for this condition as well, and they may tie-up when they come back to work.  Also, since the vast majority of furloughed horses go to New Jersey and Pennsylvania or upstate NY – disease control may not be optimal when they come back. Also consider that these horses have no grass during the majority of the year – transferring them suddenly to any sort of pasture and onto grass that they are not used to eating can have serious consequences such as colic or laminitis.

This study suggests that pastured horses maintained a similar level of fitness as stalled horses after 14 weeks.  However, the research, by Dr. Patty Graham-Thiers of Virginia Intermont College, involved comparing two groups of horses to horses turned out on a hilly 100 acre pasture.  It could be relevant if the carriage horses were turned out on similar circumstances and property and not standing in small paddocks or sent to work on Amish farms, as has often been cited.  And the study doesn’t exactly support ASPCA Veterinarian Dr. Corey’s comments about furloughing horses, as she has said that when the horses return from furlough, they often look worse than when they first went on vacation – “We have observed some horses returning to New York City after furloughs on a farm in worse condition than when they left.”  If the study concludes that these pastured horses were able to maintain a similar level of fitness as the stalled, exercised horses, in addition to having greater bone mineral content at the end of the study, then why do the carriage horses tend to look worse, in the words of Dr. Corey?  How are they maintained on the “holiday” paddocks?  Or are the draft crosses tendency to have metabolic issues not being addressed?  Or are the paddocks not large enough to facilitate the exercise that was observed in the study? Lots of questions with no answers,  as the horses aren’t monitored while away from the City.

THECAVALRYGROUPimage003-1

5.  How Can an Association With the Cavalry Group Be a Good Thing?

Think “Waterloo” and immediately the phrase,  “catastrophic failure” comes to mind…… On its website, the extreme right-wing Cavalry Group declares that animal rights “extremists” are working to advance a “vegan agenda.”  They have opposed several “animal rights” measures around the U.S., including a ballot question in Missouri to crack down on puppymills and a referendum in North Dakota that would make it a felony to maliciously and intentionally harm dogs, cats or horses. They also oppose the SAFE Act to stop sending American horses to be slaughtered, and they have resisted anti-soring legislation for Big Lick horses, and they resist pretty much any and all efforts to upgrade anti-cruelty laws.  It should come as no surprise that The Cavalry Group is based in Missouri which has the worst puppy mills in the nation. Even the Better Business Bureau refers to Missouri as the “capital of puppy mills in the US.”  Any group that aligns themselves with people who find Big Lick soring in any way acceptable and who mount a charge to OPPOSE the passage of this Bill deserve failure. Here’s a list of what they oppose.

Anti-animal Cavalry Group tweetstorm

Cavalry Group Tweetstorm – where the NYC carriage industry gets infused with Teaparty insanity.

Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, added, “It’s a very bad selection by the carriage horse drivers to associate with a group of zealots that oppose the most basic animal welfare standards.”  Utilizing an anti-animal lobbying group shows that they are not the animal lovers that they claim to be and are more interested in promoting the status quo.

The Cavalry group made a laughing stock out of itself the last time it went up to Washington to lobby against HR 1418S  In their “USDA Approved” campaign to resist legislation against horse soring. The Cavalry Group saddled up and put a Big Lick horse, Mr. Heisman, on its poster, and proudly proclaimed he was “USDA APPROVED.” Mr. Heisman is trained by Brandye Mills and he is owned by Randall Baskin. It just so happens that Brandye Mills and owner Randall Baskin have HPA violations! Trainer Mills has been cited numerous times for “foreign substances, scars, unilateral sores, low chains,” etc. on multiple animals.  Violation of the Horse Protection Act is already a crime, so Mills and Baskin are anything but USDA approved.

Just as stupid is the carriage horse association with the various cast-offs from United Horsemen, who live even further away from NYC than I do – several of them parroted false information about colicking Salt Lake City carriage horse Jerry, whose illness and death was concealed for several days/weeks,  unbeknownst to those who personally attested to him being alive,  days after he had died.  This just goes to show that you can’t expect members of the pro-slaughter group United Horsemen to have knowledge of anything that requires them to READ.  If you’re still not sure that the Cavalry Group is anti-animal, check out these ridiculous tweets,  compiled by Buzzfeed and made during their “Tweet Storm” campaign.

6.  Is the Stabling for the NYC Carriage Horses as Adequate as We’ve Been Told?

West Side Livery BEFORE renovation and Clip Clop NYC

West Side Livery BEFORE renovation and Clip Clop NYC

These are NOT pets of the carriage operators – they are tools of a business. By law their stalls must be a minimum of 64 square feet, which is pretty small by most people’s standards unless you own a pony or a couple of minis.  The horses do manage to lie down though, not that they have much room to spare.  But the smaller the stall the greater the risk of getting cast in the stall too.  Prior to conversion,  the West Side Livery stables had standing stalls that made it difficult,  albeit not impossible,  for horses to lie down.  While photographs of the Clinton stables reveal that the operators are very good at managing small spaces,  I don’t believe any of the buildings have sufficiently large enough stalls for these larger breeds of horses.

7.  Are the NYC Carriage Horses Really  “The Most Regulated Horses in the Country, if Not The World?”

This is the same facile argument that pro-slaughter use to justify the continuation of the slaughter industry.  Regulations on the books mean nothing if they are largely unenforced.  Anti-cruelty regulations provide few safeguards for horses, and many humane authorities just don’t have the resources or the time to monitor the carriages in order to ensure that horses are not being overworked and that operators are following regulations.

Furthermore the ASPCA has recently dismantled its Humane Law Enforcement Division in NYC.  Over the past few years, the ASPCA’s humane law enforcement division has handled about 4,000 investigations annually and made about one arrest per week (for all species of animal).  The agents wore uniforms, flashed badges, carried guns, traveled in blue-and-white squad cars, and for years starred in “Animal Precinct,” but now the ASPCA has laid off almost all of its 18 law enforcement agents and is now leaving those responsibilities solely to the New York City Police Department.  Without a team focused on animal abuse, enforcement will almost certainly be given a lower priority by officers dealing with the full spectrum of human crimes.

Horse needs help to riseSince the ASPCA is not obligated to share information about the general health and well-being of the carriage horses in New York, we really have no idea how healthy they are, or are not.  And yet it was not the Teamsters Union, nor the carriage people, or even the ASPCA who spotted a lame horse driven by Saverio Colarusso, but the police, who ultimately charged him with cruelty to animals.  Apparently the horse, who had thrush, had been driven for several days before being spotted struggling.  Now, it’s difficult to keep a horse’s stall entirely dry at the best of times, but thrush is predisposed by moist, damp, dirty stable conditions. But it is treated by scrubbing with anti-fungal/antiseptic and by moving the animal to a DRY stall.  Whoever was cleaning the horse’s feet should have been alerted to the condition by the smell and/or discharge, which makes me wonder how often they all get their feet picked out and how mucky the stalls are.  Several photographs, of the West Side livery in particular, don’t show much of a base of shavings that would absorb a lot of urine.

It’s also not the first time Mr. Colarusso has gotten in trouble either. In 2010, he was charged with drinking while on duty after being spotted with a beer while standing next to his carriage (I guess we should be gratified that a driver was actually standing near their carriage though). Two other bottles of liquor were found inside the carriage. He has also been fined for driving his horse through city streets at unauthorized times, failing to keep a daily log and not turning on the lamps on the side of his carriage after dark.  The urban carriage people sure don’t like to talk about Mr. Colarusso,  because now the fact that he’s been charged is a huge problem for them – they can’t exactly tout that no one in the industry has ever been charged with abuse!  But it was correct procedure to suspend him,  since the horses and tourists both deserve to be driven about by someone who is not likely intoxicated.

What’s also odd is that  Colarusso was arrested by for animal cruelty not by the ASPCA,  but by the police.  It seems probable then that the ASPCA went  easy on the drivers in the past because they had the “protection” of Bloomberg, who is now gone.  Therefore,  it’s not necessarily true that the industry is upholding any great standard,  only that some individuals have never been caught.

Horse looks ready to bite driver

8.  Will a Ban On City Carriage Horses Mean That There Will Ultimately be a Ban on all Privately-Owned Horses?

A classic slippery slope fallacy made by the true property-rights fanatic dedicated to creating a pandemonium that doesn’t exist.  That slippery slope fallacy they love involves constructing a scenario in which one thing leads ultimately to an end so extreme that the first step should never be taken. For example: Eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will cause you to put on weight. Putting on weight will make you overweight. Soon you will weigh 450 pounds and then you will die of heart disease. Therefore,  eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream leads to death. If you want to live,  don’t even try it.  And even though horses were declared a dangerous species in Connecticut, it’s not exactly a foregone conclusion that people will rise up to ban private ownership of horses across the continent.  Just because many people don’t want circuses,  aquariums, zoos, rodeos (there are valid reasons to eliminate many aspects of these things), there is absolutely no sign that pleasure horses will be eliminated as some sort of ever-present vegan conspiracy.

9  How Well Can Two Grain Meals During a Work Shift Suffice for Working Carriage Horses?

With the exception of Przewalski’s horses (who have a different number of chromosomes) domestic horses and wild horses are genetically exactly the same animal. That means that the horse living in your back yard or at a stable somewhere is genetically the same as the horse who evolved in the wild and those still living in the wild. It makes no difference that most horses we have were all born in captivity.  Our horse’s genetics are still the same as those horses who roamed across North America thousands of years ago.

GridlockSome people believe that a few hundred years of selective breeding can change all that, but we know that it takes a few thousand years to even begin to change the genetics of any species. Which means the horses in our back yard have been programmed for hundreds of thousands of years to live in wide open spaces where they can see predators coming, eat grass and other forage for 18 hours a day, move 10 miles a day on unshod feet and spend the day with multiple other horses for safety and security.  Of course, it’s not just the carriage horses who live a lifestyle at odds with their genetics – virtually all companion horses do.

We feed them diets of grain and molasses which are converted to sugars once eaten.  The horse’s gut is programmed to release digestive acid around the clock – not just when two small grain meals are offered. It’s a scientific fact that hay is digested by gut microbes and bacteria which generate heat during the process and actually helps keep horses warm.  The problem is that horses working a shift of 9 hours do not get the opportunity to eat hay and are offered a couple of grain meals instead until they return to the stable where they will be given hay.   A horse needs more forage when the temperature drops, so it follows that two grain meals per shift,  especially in winter weather,  will be insufficient. And when grass or hay is not available, stomach acid has nothing to process but the horse’s gut itself, hence a reason for ulcers.

Things that make horses most at risk for ulcer disease are sporadic feeding with periods of an empty stomach, or irregular feeding with long periods of no intake, high starch diets, exercise at speed, concurrent illness, especially of a gastrointestinal nature, and use of NSAIDS,” notes internal medicine specialist Carol Clark, DVM, Dipl ACVIM, of Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital in Ocala.

Charlie, a middle-aged NYC carriage horse who died enroute to work,  had a cracked tooth and ulceration of the stomach,  as revealed in his necropsy.  Horses need to eat free choice.  And if they drink too little because they’re working a 9 hour shift,  they can be both underfed,  cold,  and susceptible to colic.

Now if you listen to many commercial carriage supporters, they’ll tell you that two grain meals are perfectly fine and natural, and horses probably shouldn’t spend too much time on grass anyway because they will founder.  Of course,  there are exceptions to being on grass,  especially rich spring grass…….already laminitic horses,  overweight horses, certain pony breeds,  cushinoid/pituitary pars intermedia dysfunctional (PPID) or insulin-resistant horses may have to be dry-lotted or dry-lotted part of the time, but these are the exceptions that must be managed.  For more info on horses’ natural diets,  check out the eBooks  Horses Were Born to Be On Grass and Horses Without Grass.

The horse’s body uses food in order of importance.

  • Maintenance for body temperature
  • To renew the body’s tissues
  • Maintaining body condition and weight
  • For energy for movement and life

10.  As an Alternative,  Could the Horses Live And Work Only Within Central Park?

Chris pinned under the carriage

Chris is down and pinned under the carriage.

There are more than 200 carriage horses – stabling them in Central Park,  providing storage for the carriages,  storage for hay,  straw,  and temporary storage for manure, in addition to space for turn-out would require taking at least 100 acres of public green space and turning it over to this small, private industry.   And the horses could not realistically spend all their time in the park either, even spread out over several shifts.  The medallion holders own the 4 stables that the horses currently live in, so who would pay for the land use and the construction of a stable and paddocks? Would they sell their properties in order to finance such an undertaking?

11.  Will a Ban Mean That the Carriage Horses in NYC Will All Go to Slaughter?

We do not have enough rescue space in this country for the horses we have now.” At a press conference that day, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the Daily News story and ran with it. “I assume all the horses will go to slaughter,” he said.  Bloomberg fueled the story, and it’s been picked up continuously since, with many news outlets — from TIME to Metro to, most recently, The Daily Beast – claiming that the horses may go to slaughter after the ban.  And so too did Liam Neeson.

Why do they have to go anywhere?  As I stated early on in this blog post, the owners are not compelled to sell them.  But seeing as they are assets of a business that could be eliminated,  most of them probably wouldn’t keep the horses anyway.  Elizabeth Forel of the Coalition to Ban Carriage Horses, has said that the threat is a scare tactic done to persuade people not to support a ban.  “If any of the horses go to the slaughter auctions, make no mistake – it will be the drivers who bring them there.” The carriage owners claim that they do not send their horses to auctions or kill buyers.  But they certainly do sell them to the Amish on occasion, and the Amish are often middle men or kill buyers themselves who work these horses hard and then send the old and/or unsound horses directly to auction or sell directly to a kill buyer.  The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition has in its video library, numerous examples of draft and draft crosses being slaughtered in Canada after being shipped from New Holland auction.

Atlanta Carriage Horse - shoe needs reset

This Atlanta carriage horse needs new shoes or a reset – the toe has grown over the shoe. Of course this can happen with any horse, but working carriage horses must have adequate foot protection due to the number of hours on the pavement.  And this did not happen overnight either – farrier care is overdue

Allie Feldman, Executive Director of NYClass,  said that several organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and her own group, are dedicated to providing homes for the retired horses. In a recent blog post, Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of HSUS, offered Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas as a sanctuary for some of the horses. He believes he can reasonably place 40-50 of the horses.  And Matt Bershadker, CEO of ASPCA, did the same in a statement: “We would gladly get involved — including tapping into our network of rescue partners and resources — to help with the transition.” Jackie Beckstead, Director of Accreditation and Field Operations for the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries has also publicly stated that she has contacted her network of sanctuaries that take draft horses and found space available for horses as well.

And since we know that the horses have regular veterinary care, this will occasionally mean that they are given drugs that make them ineligible for slaughter, such as phenylbutazone.   Apparently former Mayor Bloomberg hasn’t heard about the prohibitions against sending drugged horses into the food chain!

12. Is it True That a “Land Grab” by Real-Estate Tycoons is the Primary Reason to End the Industry?”

Salt Lake City carriage horse Jerry colics while at work and is unable to rise. Later, he became the subject of a "bait and switch" campaign by the owners, who substituted another horse as him, and concealed his death for several weeks until challenged as to his whereabouts.

Salt Lake City carriage horse Jerry colics while at work and is unable to rise. Later, he became the subject of a “bait and switch” campaign by the owners, who substituted another horse as him, and concealed his death for several weeks until challenged as to his whereabouts.

This doesn’t explain why people like myself and others who have no vested interest in NYC real estate would like to see it end.   But this accusation has finally been debunked.  Steve Nislick, president of NYCLASS and a real estate developer, has answered the charges made by the carriage trade and the media that he wants the stable property.  He not only said it is not true but that if the property were  ever to come onto the market, he pledges that he will not bid on it.  He further goes on to say that neither will anyone from his company or organization.

The media has presented the carriage driver as a poor, marginalized, struggling blue collar worker whose business is being taken away by people who know nothing at all about horses and who covet their stable property. While I think that provisions need to be made for any drivers  who are employees of the medallion holders, some of the medallion holders own the buildings that house the horses, and two of the four stables happen to be sitting on prime real estate across from a Convention Center, near the Hudson Yards development.  Under the circumstances, cries that they would be victimized if they are sold ring hollow.  If the owners wanted to sell these properties, they would get market value for them and nothing less,  and they cannot be forced to sell them either.  So there is no “land grab.”

13. Should Mayor De Blasio be More Concerned That Horses are Dying at Aqueduct Racetrack?

Horse racing, like other gaming activities, is under the jurisdiction of the State of New York, not New York City.  I suspect that Mayor de Blasio has very limited, if any, input into the legislative/judicial actions of NY State. That is Governor Cuomo’s domain.

14. Are Most Complaints About the Carriage Horses Made by People Who Don’t Live in NYC or Haven’t Visited the Stables?

I’m sure that this is true,  but social media has made it irrelevant.  First of all, scheduled visits are worthless to see the true conditions for these animals. If you think scheduled inspections look the same as unscheduled inspections, try making a surprise visit to a nursing home.  Photographic evidence is abundantly available to allow others to judge for themselves.  Check out photos of the West Side Livery,  BEFORE the stalls were enlarged and it was added to the Clip Clop NYC Tour in 2013.

15.  There Is An Active Carriage Horse Trade in Toronto

Sorry,  this is just wrong.  We have no urban horses here.  Still,  some people will insist that we do,  and will google and find a half dozen or so carriage companies that provide LIVERY service in the Greater Toronto Area but do not stable horses here.  The horses are all stabled outside Toronto,  in most cases at least an hour’s drive away – in the country.  The fact that people can google “carriage horses Toronto” and find anything at all is a testament to the carriage companies’ use of Google Adwords campaigns driving internet searchers to their businesses.  Also,  some companies advertise their limousine services as “carriage livery” and they actually have no horses at all. 

16. How Safe is the Industry?

Jerry is hoisted back to the barn

Salt Lake City carriage horse Jerry is lifted back to the barn. You knew this was not going to end well when you saw the thin straps under his colicking belly.

The industry and its supporters like to tell us that there have been only 3 horses killed as a result of vehicular accidents in the last 30 years.  But smartphones haven’t existed for 30 years have they?  Most accidents that happened before smart phones and social media platforms existed were cleared before the media could report on them.  But now that we have smart phones, you’ll find there are a lot more accidents being revealed.  In any case,  there have been many injuries to both horses and people in the last 30 years,  and some horses were killed even though other vehicles were not involved.  On September 27, 2013 there was another widely-reported accident where a frightened carriage horse bolted and ran into traffic on heavily trafficked 57th St. Fortunately no one was in the carriage which slammed into a car, flipped and landed on the horse pinning his legs. Pedestrians helped to  lift the carriage off the horse who was not seriously injured.  Prior to this incident, this driver had been cited for over-charging customers in addition to operating the carriage for more than 12 hours within a 20 hour period.  While no horse activity is completely safe,  the potential injury for both horses,  passengers,  as well as property damage to other cars and the carriages themselves is greater due to the density of traffic, the noises of the city, and the number of things that in the city that a horse and carriage can collide with.

Source:  http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/act-c-shdc-acc.html

(Not all incidents occurred in NYC or even in North America)

17.  Some Commercial Carriage Drivers  Get Really Upset When They Perceive That They Don’t Have Support of Other Carriage Drivers or Horse People.

Well this is certainly not a myth!  They will try to convince you that whatever you are doing with your horse, it is more dangerous than what they are doing in NYC.  If you wear a helmet, you should stop that shit because you are a wimp.  Real horse people aren’t afraid of traumatic brain injuries.  If you prefer not to work your horse into a lather after riding or driving, your horse is a pansy.  At the very least they will make personal attacks about people’s character.

If caring for not only my own horse but other horses makes me a “loony” then please throw me in the bin.  Nobody cares if professional bloggers threaten to use the Huffington Post platform to write about us – it’s not news to anyone but a dozen or so harassers.  However,  maybe the people setting up fake Facebook pages pretending to advocacy groups should get some (professional) legal advice before they start interfering with the private business of people who disagree with the concept of urban carriage horses.  Harassment is not a protected form of speech.

*

You may recall the scene in Manhattan where Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway take a romantic, private, horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park, quipping their way through the leafy quiet. We regret to inform you that your carriage ride will be nothing like that experience. The horse will seem tired, the driver’s patter will be even less entertaining than Mia Farrow’s memoirs, and you’ll spend the entire ride crawling along the park’s main drives, staring at the back of another carriage, and enduring dirty looks from locals and animal lovers.—Siobhan Adcock

*

This trough is dry and full of crap

Slaughterhouse Sue and Bill DesBarres – The IEBA Emperors Have No Clothes!

Standard

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

For those of you who have forgotten, Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about The Emperor’s New Clothes involves an emperor commissioning two tailors to make him a set of clothes. According to the tailors, who set out to dupe the Emperor, the new clothes will be invisible to anyone who is either incompetent or stupid. And so the emperor parades about naked rather than admit to being incompetent or stupid, all the while being applauded on all sides by sycophantic courtiers and subjects. Everyone pretends to see the remarkable clothes. However, a child cries out, “he hasn’t got any clothes on.”

Whether clothing or facts – the invisible and non-existent look very much alike.

Show your compassion - kill horses now!

Show your compassion – beat the rush! kill horses now!

This parable is of course very similar to the viewpoint that Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis and Bill DesBarres,  and the rest of their sycophantic followers in the United Horsemen’s Group and the Horse Welfare Association of Canada maintain – that everyone who cannot see their viewpoint must be an idiot or a knuckle-dragger of single-digit intelligence.

Like the Emperor,  Wallis and DesBarres aren’t wearing any clothes (unfortunately, some visuals you can’t unsee,  but if all else fails,  perhaps a little steel wool and industrial bleach might be in order?) and to that end,  she and Bill DesBarres have aligned themselves with professional lobbyists who will task themselves with the responsibility of convincing the gubbermint that Sue and Bill are indeed  splendid “emperors” for the pro-slaughter cause!  And if they can’t convince everyone,  they’ll just attempt to force through pro-slaughter legislation no matter what the 80% have to say about it………. Wallis’ “brand” is underfire and she’s been publicly shamed on many issues.  Recall that after Sue Wallis was summarily kicked out of Mountain Grove Missouri,  she threw all her toys out of the pram and huffed,  “Discussion’s over. Make all the noise you want.  We’re going into business.”  To that end,  Wallis has apparently contracted with a couple of lobbyists who can pitch horse slaughter in a way that she and DesBarres are apparently unable to do (anyone who has followed my other blog post on Wallis knows that she is suffering from “hoof ‘n’ mouth” disease).

Organization Structure - IEBA Gang of Five

Organization Structure – IEBA Gang of Five

T. Howard Mains, Co-President – Tactix Government Consulting Inc.

Howard Mains is a maple syrup farmer who has made his entire career one of downplaying the risk of pesticides, herbicides, and dioxins in food, promoting Big Ag over organic farming, while making sure that government policies are aligned with the corporate objectives of companies such as Dow and Monsanto.  He has “developed and implemented several product defence strategies,”  which basically means that he makes his living defending the products of Big Ag and Big Chem by lobbying the government to convince them that products like herbicides typically containing dioxin, such as 2,4-d,  otherwise known as Agent Orange,  isn’t really all that bad. Mains is part of a group of American and Canadian lobbyists who assert that reviews by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, confirm that pesticides in approved uses pose no health threat.  Now,  I’m not in a position to claim what exposures to pesticides are or are not “safe,”  but dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals ever made by man;  they are chemically very stable and therefore break down extremely slowly in the environment. Furthermore,  dioxins bioaccumulate – they collect in fatty tissue, and become concentrated in animals higher up the food chain. This fact is not in dispute.

Howard Mains organic food tweet - threatened by organic food?

Howard Mains organic food tweet – threatened by organic food? And who are the “Toxic Terrorists?”

Most people are familiar with the most dangerous form of dioxin used during the Vietnam War – defoliant Agent Orange. War veterans exposed to Agent Orange have developed chronic  lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkins lymphoma and diabetes. Many children of veterans exposed have been affected by their parents’ exposure to the chemical and show a wide range of symptoms.  But one doesn’t need to have been exposed to a massive overdose of dioxin in order to gain the attention of the Canadian Cancer Society;   acting on the precautionary principle, the British Columbia and Yukon branches of the CCS have called for a moratorium on the cosmetic use of pesticides.

howard mains - public scientifically illiterate

Howard Mains – public scientifically illiterate

As a consumer (and a scientifically literate one at that),  I can tell you that I no longer trust any government agency,  particularly the CFIA,  which,  as we know,  has been using the EU as a dumping ground for toxic horsemeat. The CFIA is hardly transparent or accountable as any Canadian horse advocate knows well enough by now, and the knowledge that Mains has or will be lobbying them on his own or on behalf of the IEBA (International Equine Business Association) as a front for Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis is hardly comforting.   Curiously,  Mains appears to be silent on the issue of Phenylbutazone and Clenbuterol recently found in horsemeat that originated from Canada,  and the use of non-food animals in the food system.  Perhaps we haven’t heard from him on the issue of horsemeat (yet) so long as payment from the IEBA or Sue Wallis is a prerequisite.  Slaughter Spin-Meister Sue may not actually have any money to pay lobbyists or invest in her slaughter empire,  even though she has maintained that she is actively engaged in renovating slaughter plants that she doesn’t actually own.  What could possibly go wrong?

Explain these canines?

Explain these canines?

Big Ag lobbyists like Howard don’t really seem to like vegetarians/vegans or people who want to live more organically or off the CAFO grid.  That’s not to say that organic foods don’t come with some of their own issues,  because of course they do. But Howard Mains thinks that anyone who doesn’t fall in line with Big Ag, CAFO  thinking must subscribe to repeating scary campfire stories about chemicals and must by default be an anti-technology, anti-business, anti-progress ideologue whose diatribes are not based on science. The science actually proves that dioxin has been found in milk, cheese, beef, pork, fish, chicken, and other animals, as well as soil and sewage sludge.  According to the FDA,  although dioxins are environmental contaminants, most dioxin exposure occurs through the diet, with over 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats.  Agent Orange was widely used in Ontario on Crown land up until the 70s. 

Howard Mains doesn’t discriminate only in favour of herbicides either.  In a Power Point presentation of his own creation,  Mains states:

“The current scientific evidence indicates that the general public need not be concerned as levels of BPA present in food do

Children's letter writing campaigns exploit children,  but this is OK Howard?

Children’s letter writing campaigns exploit children as “enviro-terror lobbyists?”

not pose a health risk. ”   I’m not sure what “scientific evidence” Mains attributes to this reasoning,  since there is plenty of evidence that Bisphenols exert detectable hormone-like properties  and the Pubmed database contains over 3,000 references to Bisphenols. Endocrine disruptors cause developmental,  neurological,  and immunological effects in both humans and wildlife.

Although Mains appears to be loathe to acknowledge it,  casual use of phenoxy herbicides are directly correlated with environmental hazards.According to the Canadian Environmental Law Association, “Pesticides have been either associated with, or more often, are suspected as contributing to, impaired cognitive development in children, increased rates of cancer, brain tumours, asthma, and immune system problems.” Pesticides have been linked to breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. A study by the Stanford University’s School of Medicine indicates Parkinson’s disease is linked to home pesticide use.

Toronto’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sheela Basrur, states, “The use of lawn care pesticides is a public health issue of growing concern. When risks to human health are unnecessary or uncertain, the wisest course of action is to substitute alternatives rather than incurring risks that may prove unacceptable in the long run.” The World Health Organization estimates that 220,000 people die every year from pesticide poisoning and three million people are poisoned. You have to connect the dots here – when governments are lobbied to accept the use of products that are not in the best interests of its

Gerry Ritz - Most Popular with Lobbyists!

Gerry Ritz – Most Popular with Lobbyists! @lobbywatcher collects and consolidates tweets to see whose doors swing open the widest to people paid to influence government policy.

citizens,  lobbyists have to accept some of the blame!

And although Slaughterhouse Sue and her United Horsemen’s followers are quick to complain about children’s anti-slaughter letter writing campaigns,  Howard Mains has no qualms about employing children in his own Power Point presentations minimizing the impact of pesticide use.

Mains was also involved in a NAFTA Chapter 11 dispute against the former Quebec NDP Environment Minister Thomas Mulcair and the Province of Quebec when it came to banning sales of herbicide 2,4-D.  Mains represented Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto,  who are perpetually concerned about the economic issues surrounding a ban of their products,  against the Province of Quebec.

The Dow AgroSciences case against Quebec was the result of changes to the province’s Pesticide Management Code, first tabled in July 2002, banning the use of several pesticides for residential lawn applications. Mains,  representing Big Chem,  challenged (or bullied?) the government to “prove that 2,4-D did not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, provided that the instructions on their label are followed, as concluded by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency decision on the re-evaluation of 2,4-D.”  Although the Government of Quebec had the right to regulate the sale and use of 2,4-D,  they were LOBBIED and coerced to back down to Dow and Monsanto in this example.  Mains was also part of a group of people working within the landscaping industry who had lobbied Quebec’s National Assembly to take 2,4-D off of its list of banned products.

For this and other reasons, a recent report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists gave Dow and Monsanto a stern talking-to about what the term “sustainable agriculture”  actually means, and why what they’re doing isn’t it.  Research also suggests that pesticides such as Roundup may also be linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.  Unsurprisingly, Roundup/glycophosate wreaks havoc on beneficial insects, amphibians, and birds who are foolish enough to try to exist in their natural habitats. Take note,  Howard Mains.

Keep Calm..........

Keep Calm……….and try not to lose your shit

Knowing that most disease is idiopathic – without known cause or mechanics,  it behooves governments to utilize the precautionary principle.  Researchers investigating the long-term immune effects of dioxin have found that exposure to dioxin during development or while nursing diminishes the capacity to fight infection later in life. The study, published in Toxicological Sciences, reported that mouse pups born to pregnant mice that were exposed to a small amount of dioxins had fewer white blood cells that normally kill the flu virus and more of a different kind that increases lung inflammation.

The study entitled, “The aryl hydrocarbon receptor affects distinct tissue compartments during ontogeny of the immune system,” aimed to identify the critical windows of exposure where fetuses are most sensitive to dioxin’s harmful effects. Pregnant mice were given a dose of 1,000 ppt dioxin either during pregnancy, lactation, or throughout pregnancy and lactation. After dosing, mothers and pups were kept dioxin-free. Researchers then infected mothers and pups with a non-lethal dose of the influenza virus.

“These results illustrate how dioxin exposure in the womb, and/or during nursing, can permanently impact the development of the immune system. They also reaffirm the significance of the impacts of early exposures to harmful chemicals which can result in long-term changes that affect normal biological responses later in life. One notable aspect of this study was that changes in immune response were observed even though the pups were exposed a few times to a low-level dose of dioxin. This means that short-term exposures (as opposed to long-term, continuous exposures) can have significant long-term impact, especially if these exposures occur during important early developmental stages.”

True to form,  any lobbyist defending 2,4-D,  pesticides,  or even phenylbutazone use, would claim that much of animal research isn’t translational to humans.  I guess that’s why research shows that cell phone microwaves cause long term memory loss in rats or phenylbutazone use can cause serious side-effects in horses,  but neither of these things harms people.  Evidently,  we are of a different,  more bullet-proof mammalian stock.

Thank you Sir,  may I have another?  Certainly,  dear reader;  this brings us to our second IEBA co-conspirator,  Steve Kopperud:

Steve Kopperud, Executive Vice President – Policy Directions Inc.

Steve Kopperud is executive vice president of Policy Directions Inc., a Washington, DC government affairs/specialty communications company specializing in animal production agriculture, nutrition, agribusiness, biotechnology, animal health and welfare, food, farm policy, trade and ag research and human health-related issues.  Kopperud was senior vice president of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), for nearly 18 years prior to joining Policy Directions. Kopperud considers himself an authority on “animal activist assaults on animal agriculture and food technology.”  He coordinates the Washington, DC-based Farm Animal Welfare Coalition (FAWC), a national coalition of farm, ranch and input organizations involved in livestock/poultry production.  Kopperud again continues along the theme of scientifically unenlightened consumers as “liabilities” along with the ever-present threat of animal and environmental activism.  Steve has made it his life’s mission to protect Big Ag and biomedical research from animal rights and environmental “radicals.” I daresay,  if Slaughterhouse Sue ever decides to leave her semi-literate poet hubby for a guy in Washington,  Steve would be the ideal partner – he hates anyone who strives to preserve the environment as much as she does!

From the AFIA's latest propaganda "meating."  They're not referring to human vegetarians either.

From the AFIA’s latest propaganda “meating.” They’re not referring to human vegetarians either.

In his capacity as VP of the AFIA,  Kopperud wrote:

“AFIA’s goal is to ensure this rewrite of programs touching AFIA members most directly is rational and economical, while ensuring basic income protection for farmers, a future for appropriately funded ag-research, a continued priority on  federal programs promoting exports, a rewritten conservation title that puts arable land back into protection, a permanent disaster program that keeps the feed industry in the delivery system and public recognition that the “demands” of animal rights groups are self-serving and out of touch with feeding America and the rest of the planet.”  Holy crap – that’s one sentence – it’s a tragedy when bad things happen to good sentences!  Note to Steve – when the “demands” are made by increasingly larger and better organized groups,  you can be sure that those “out of touch” groups are actually becoming the norm.  Corporate accountability is the way of the future.  Get used to it.

Kopperud is regularly quoted by Humanewatch followers of Rick Berman.  Suffice it to say the Humane Society of the United States has been on his radar screen for many years. He writes:

“The greatest sin of HSUS is its arrogance. The organization and its leaders honestly believe because they deem a practice to be “wrong” or “unacceptable,” the world must stop and embrace that definition.”  Steve is hard at work countering ethical vegetarianism,  because anyone who cares about the planet,  the environment,  and animal cruelty is anathema to the organizations he represents.  So again,  he is the ideal foil to Slaughterhouse Sue in that you can count on him to downplay,  ignore,  and spin any of the well-known issues that animal welfare advocates have about horses and horsemeat.  Assuming that the IEBA truly gets off the ground and doesn’t get spun into some new business entity by Wallis,  it will be Kopperud’s role to oppose and marginalize any persons or any groups who promote horse welfare.  Indeed,  he believes that animal abuse does not exist in any food production system.  As we know,   Big Ag in various States in the US seeks to make it a crime in MN, Iowa and FL to document by camera or video even illegal agricultural activity. These bills supported by Big Ag  (Monsanto specifically in Iowa) and were obviously unconstitutional, self-serving and though thankfully defeated. If Big Ag wants to win the “food movement” back, trying to toss people in jail for documenting even illegal dangerous activity where our food is made is not the way.

What happened to Snow White when she ate the poisoned apple?

What happened to Snow White when she ate the poisoned apple?

Kopperud targeted much of his remarks against HSUS for its work toward the U.S. horse slaughter ban.  “The unintended consequences of this national campaign to ban horse slaughter waged by HSUS is that we now have over 110,000 neglected and abandoned horses in this country. There has not been one word from any activist organization as to how we will care for these  animals,” Kopperud said. “HSUS, with their leader Wayne Pacelle, is a very savvy organization. ” HSUS frustrates the lobbyists because they won’t come out to play.  Kopperud and the rest of the lobbyists want HSUS to be in the shelter business, which is why Rick Berman and Humanewatch constantly rag on them re: shelter donations.  If HSUS would just “know their place,”  the people the lobbyists represent could just continue to breed too many dogs for the market just like the AQHA overbreeds for the market. Not to be out done,  Kopperud also blasted the Quizno’s sandwich shop chain for its recent move to sell products from crate-free pork and free-range eggs as part of a green initiative, saying the firm caved in to pressure from PETA on these issues. Kopperud wants all animal-exploiters to work together.

Lobbyists and the Fortune 500 companies they represent would like to deny you your free speech rights as well.  In a letter to Consumer Reports, Kopperud has defended the industry’s rationale behind food disparagement laws, claiming that they “do not repress free speech, but rather compel a speaker to think twice about opportunistic or false statements and the damage such rhetoric can do. . . . Food disparagement laws, as tools to make more honest our national discussion of food safety, are the ultimate consumer protection.” The AIF speaks more bluntly in literature aimed at farmers: “Animal rights activists . . . threaten the survival of today’s farmers and ranchers. . . . It’s time to fight back! . . . ”

Lead by lobbyists,  the food industry has worked quietly state-by-state while avoiding a controversial national debate. So far, thirteen state legislatures have approved product disparagement laws–Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. Other states are considering similar measures.  Do you believe that,  based on Sue Wallis’ alignment with Kopperud,  she would really implement CCTV in horse slaughterhouses?  I wouldn’t bet a kidney on it and I don’t give a shit what Temple Grandin thinks will happen either.

Further, Steve Kopperud, coordinator for the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group is afraid the media will have a field day with the EPA limits. And then what might happen? “You will have a whole lot of folks running in circles saying there’s nothing safe to eat, it will scare the crap out of people.”  Boy,  it doesn’t take much for the food industry to freak out over potential government action!

Members of the The Food Industry Dioxin Working Group (hint – they will not be advocating on your behalf):

American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Frozen Food Institute
American Meat Institute
Corn Refiners Association
International Dairy Foods Association
National Chicken Council
National Grain & Feed Association
National Meat Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Renderers Association
National Turkey Federation
Pet Food Institute
United Egg Producers

What do all these individual issues have to do with horse slaughter?  Lobbyists for horse slaughter will do for horse slaughter what they are trying to do for CAFOs – normalize them or portray them as animal-friendly mom and pop establishments,  employing  “best practices,”  animal welfare, and professional business ethics,  while they are nothing whatsoever like that.  Always remember that it costs them money to adhere to standards,  just as it would cost a lot of money to slow down the dis-assembly line of horses or any other animal,  as an attempt to make the process more “humane.”  It costs money to implement and audit CCTV cameras (not that they want anyone to see what’s going on to begin with),  otherwise,  the industry could have done it already!  The horrors of horse slaughter and drug contamination will be downplayed or proclaimed to be non-existent. There is no traceability in Canadian or American horses and no way to guarantee horses are drug free – not that either of those issues matter to lobbyists for Slaughterhouse Sue and Bill DesBarres.  Lastly,  if lobbyists are pitching drug-tainted meat to sell to consumers,  well,  that in my opinion is some pretty dirty lobbying.

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Gerry Ritz – Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Does Canada even take food safety seriously?  Apparently not,  what with Gerry Ritz’ comments at the listeriosis scandal whereby he joked that 22 people had died – On September 17, 2008, Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz made national news when comments he made on an August 2008 conference call with government officials were made public. Ritz was quoted as saying, “This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts.” Then, when told of a death in PEI, Ritz said, “Please tell me it’s (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter.” Ritz apologized for his remarks, but various groups called for his resignation. Jack Layton responded by saying, “Canadians are dying because of the mismanagement of our government… there should absolutely never be that kind of humour…. It illustrates the government is not taking this matter as seriously as they should.” A spokesman for Prime Minister Harper released a statement saying Ritz’s comments were tasteless and completely inappropriate. Stephen Harper refused to seek Ritz’s resignation.

This is a moral and ethical imperative that both Canadians and Americans must address without delay in their respective countries  The Europeans have been well-justified in placing restrictions on Canadian and American-produced meat products, such as hormone-laced beef, Ractopomine-treated pork, and chlorine-washed chickens. It’s time for them to stop imports of drugged-up horses, where the food safety case is even more obvious,  at a time when Canada is cutting back funds for inspections to pre-listeriosis times. Civic action, such as all our efforts-to-date,  has helped to transform the policies of some of the world’s biggest corporations.  Canadians don’t want their horses butchered, shrink-wrapped, and air freighted to Europe.   It’s a barbaric, unsafe, discredited business.

Canada’s Horse “Welfare” Group in Dubious Company (Or Reason #189,743 Why We Cannot Trust Unified Equine or the IEBA)

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Canadian and American horses are at risk

Canadian and American horses are at risk

Written by Heather Clemenceau (with contributions from the CHDC)

All Artwork Copyright Heather Clemenceau (use with permission only)

Canada’s Horse “Welfare” Group in Dubious Company

Domestic and wild horses in Canada are at risk of being in grave danger. Back in May 2010, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) published a paper called “What You Didn’t Know About Canada’s Horse Federations” –  exposing a deceptively named Canadian organization called the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC).

The report included some eyebrow-raising facts including:

  • HWAC’s formation being in response to Canada’s anti-slaughter movement, prompted by the CHDC’s first investigative report, “Black Beauty Betrayed” in 2008.
  • the true purpose of HWAC, which is not horse welfare, but the promotion and support of North America’s horse slaughter industry;
  • proof of HWAC’s affiliation with Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant, Bouvry Exports;
  • HWAC’s founder, Bill DesBarres is a Board member with the Alberta Equestrian Federation, and thus manoeuvred to include all provincial horse federations under HWAC;
  • Bill DesBarres’ reaction to authentic footage obtained from Bouvry Exports in the CHDC 2010 report, “Chambers of Carnage” was to dispute its authenticity, saying: “I’m not convinced that those pictures were taken at Fort MacLeod. These things are produced by people who have a different agenda. They are against animal agriculture, period.”
  • HWAC’s affiliation with extreme pro-slaughter groups in the U.S. under State of Wyoming Legislature Republican Sue Wallis.

South of the border, DesBarres American counterpart and horse slaughter advocate, Rep. Sue Wallis, has been hard at work laying the groundwork for horse slaughter plants to re-open in the US after a 6-year moratorium.  Despite failed attempts at re-establishing slaughter in Wyoming and Mountain Grove, Missouri, Rep. Wallis, the recently-resigned President of the United Horsemen’s group, is refocusing her efforts on alternative locations in Southern Missouri, Oregon, New Mexico, Nebraska, Iowa, Washington, and Oklahoma.  It has recently been revealed that the site of that location in Missouri is Rockville,  a town of less than 200 people,  and the site of a now-closed beef processing plant.  Wallis is counting on the fact that the plant is located in this small town where 50-60 residents were previously employed at the plant,  which was closed by the owners as a result of USDA pressure.  Via a press release from the IEBA,  Wallis announced that “Americans Eat Horses, and the World is Hungry Enough to Help Us Save Them.” If Americans ate horses and there was a buck to be made, horse meat would be in grocery stores long ago. There was nothing stopping the selling of horse meat during all the years they were slaughtered in the US.  Wallis claims horsemeat will resolve all hunger problems in the US,  and her supporters in United Horsemen’s group also claim that it could be exported to Africa and solve hunger in that continent.  Why doesn’t she just create a business proposal to sell horsemeat to impoverished African countries?

The problem with these types of simplistic “solutions” is that they can’t possibly account for all the problems in Africa. Like food distribution problems, government corruption, AIDS, the effects of globalization, overpopulation, gang warfare, coup d’etats, the role of the IMF, and the lowest average wages in the world. 23 million starving – we’d have to slaughter every horse in the US and Canada, plus dogs and cats, every year, and even that wouldn’t be enough to sustain them over time. Most African countries have had aid provided to them for many years, and yet the circumstances never improve for the people. Pro-slaughters think you can throw horsemeat at anyone and they will literally rise up from the grave in good health and prosperity. Wallis’ rejection of food safety regulations would be laughable if not dangerous.  Food safety regulations are to protect humans,  not animals,  and the veterinarian sources she cites are not able to make determinations as to the acceptable limits of drug residues,  if any,  because they are not toxicologists.  The reason she is so irrational on food safety is that if food safety regulations were enforced with  horses, she would not be able to set up her slaughter empire!

Incidentally,  Wallis is running for re-election in Wyoming,  and her professional bio lists her as a “writer” and a “poet.”  Well,  I’ve read her so-called poetry.  IMO, cowboy poetry sucks because they can’t rhyme anything with “saddles.” It’s even worse with Sue trying her hand writing about “Mustang meat-patties” and “BLM Burgers.” I’d rather be hog-tied than have to listen to a Sue Wallis poetry reading.

American horses are exported to Canada for slaughter

American horses are exported to Canada or Mexico for slaughter

While Wallis has previously moved around, working under the guise of several organizations, most recently Unified Equine LLC (which apparently no longer has a web presence apart from its Facebook page), she is attempting to re-brand herself by creating yet another organization to further her pursuit of horse slaughter in America: The International Equine Business Association. (IEBA).  This organization now includes Belgian monetary backer Olivier Kemseke of Chevideco, an international horse slaughter corporation and Canadian Bill DesBarres, of the ironically-named Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada. (HWAC).  Chevideco, the owner of the Dallas Crown horse slaughter facility, owes the City of Kaufman, Texas numerous fines for the environmental grotesqueries of their plant.  HWAC is also public representative of Claude Bouvry, owner of Bouvry Exports in Alberta – Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant.  Bouvry is also owner of many large horse feedlots in Alberta, Shelby, Montana and Fallon, Nevada.  As such, we are confident in asserting that these three individuals do not represent the horse industry – they represent the meat industry!

The last few months have been busy for the aptly named “Slaughterhouse Sue” Wallis.  Not content merely to confine herself to arranging duplicitous business enterprises, she has been given her walking papers by the town of Mountain Grove, MO, she has crumbled under pressure on a radio program, written endorsements for feedlot owners under investigation and slaughterhouse owners who have had their operations suspended for cruelty violations.  In 2011,  she was the subject of an ethics enquiry in her own state by an animal activist.  On the United Horsemen’s page on Facebook, she has started calling anti-slaughter legislators in Congress “socialists,” after a press release announced the cancellation of the 2nd Summit of the (Dead) Horse event.

Consumer research firm Neilsen found that in March 2011, a typical Facebook user was on the site for a staggering 6 hours and 35 minutes at a time.  I suspect Sue Wallis spends considerably more time on Facebook than the typical user,  or even the typical politican,  who tend to be quite observant of commentary from other Facebook users and constituents.  A selection of Sue Wallis’ Facebook posts taken from various sources reveal that any individuals who express concern for the environment,  drug contamination in food,  or animal welfare are likely to come under fire.  Once Wallis tires of battling animal welfare groups on Facebook,  “sics” her United Horsemen’s minions on other Facebook users she doesn’t like or who have challenged her.  In another incident,  Wallis exercises questionable judgement when she once again asks her minions to “reach out” to a woman who has slaughtered her own horse and crawled nude inside the carcass to pose for pictures.  Some photos featured in the website even showcase the woman posing with the horse’s heart,  as if she is about to consume it.  Even posters on the United Horsemen’s page feel the distaste at her request.

Sue Wallis asks United Horsemen followers to "reach out" and support the right to commit horse necrophilia.

Sue Wallis asks United Horsemen followers to “reach out” and support the right to commit horse necrophilia.

"Slaughterhouse" Sue asks her followers to harass people who disagree with her.

“Slaughterhouse” Sue asks her followers to harass people who disagree with her.

Sue Wallis asks Facebook followers to harass this email account holder (email account has been partially redacted for privacy)

Sue Wallis asks Facebook followers to harass this email account holder (email account has been partially redacted for privacy)

One wonders how the whiny, finger-pointing Wallis can regularly travel away from her constituents in Wyoming, to further her own business interests in other states.  When objection to her plans reached critical mass in Mountain Grove Missouri, Wallis was given a “get out of town card,” after she hatched the bizarre claim that the local YMCA director received death threats from “animal rights activists.”  Of course, the Director himself denied that any such threats were made by anyone – he even told the investigating police that no one had threatened him.  But this is not what the followers of the pro-slaughter faction wanted to hear, so the fabricated story of death threats was made to cover-up for the truth that they were kicked to the curb.  Sue Wallis left town with the following advisory: “Discussion’s over.  Make all the noise you want.  We’re going into business.” Should we be surprised that  Wyoming ranks 48th out of 50 states in terms of corruption risk. 

Despite a published agenda for the radio program, Wallis’ snake-oil showmanship was exposed in a radio broadcast that featured, among other guests, Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), leading to her public meltdown  and abrupt departure from the show.  She claims that she was ambushed, which seems surprising – who agrees to speak on a radio program with the belief that there will be no other guests, and with the pre-program guest list posted online?

Greasewood and the Sandwash Basin Horsres

In a move that was not only ill-conceived, but couldn’t be more ill-timed, Sue Wallis pointed her slaughter house interests towards New Mexico, after failing in Missouri.  New Mexico is the home of the infamous Chavez Feedlot, where horses are shuttled from many points in the U.S. to slaughter plants in Mexico.  In March 2012, Animals Angels exposed horrible conditions there where horses that were rejected at Mexican plants, were returned to the Chavez feedlot and left to die.

Wallis then went on to urge the New Mexico Governor that “instead of charging (feedlot owner Dennis) Chavez with negligent mistreatment or animal cruelty, and trying to ruin his business…if these groups really cared about horses they would be honoring and applauding him, as we do, for providing care and sustenance to horses that would otherwise have no chance of survival.”  Read the entire letter  The problem is that Mr. Chavez has established a clear pattern of abusing horses, as can be seen from a USDA Freedom of Information Act inquiry.  Additionally, he is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation which revealed profoundly disturbing footage of severely emaciated horses, unable to rise, expiring on his feedlot without the humanity of euthanasia.  Chavez didn’t provide “care” or “sustenance” to any of these animals in the video, as they were too weak to rise to eat or drink and remained prostrate on the ground.  As if that was not going to be embarrassing enough for her, she then tried to discredit the investigators in her comments.

In another humiliating incident for slaughter advocates, New Mexico slaughter plant owner Rick De Los Santos,  who has lost his license to slaughter cows due to humane violations, now wants permission to slaughter the quintessential flight animal – the horse.  Mr. De Los Santos’ explanation of the reason for which he has had to lay off his entire staff  at Valley Meats is not credible either, yet certainly pro-slaughter advocates are not constrained by adherence to facts.  However,  never one to miss an opportunity to promote a pro-slaughter agenda,  Sue Wallis’ Unified Equine Facebook page boasts a recommendation of Mr. De Los Santos that makes me concerned for my own cranial integrity – yes,  I’m about to *facepalm* yet again.  Not content to merely make recommendations for those businesses and individuals who have been sanctioned or fined by various US government agencies,  Slaughterhouse Sue is well-known as a politician who glorifies those who are employed in any capacity in the slaughter industry – including many kill buyers,  lauded for sainthood.  Someone should explain to her that many of these so-called heroes have incurred fines to the tune of $100,000 or more in the course of their saintly occupation.

Unified Equine Promotes a business that has been suspended for humane violations to cattle

Unified Equine Promotes a business that has been suspended for humane violations to cattle

The Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, has asked the USDA to deny Mr. De Los Santos and Valley Meats’ request for a permit.  In addition, New Mexico Attorney General, Gary King, has stated that “a horse slaughtering plant in Roswell is a terrible idea. Such a practice, while not illegal, is certainly abhorrent to public sentiment, and I strongly suggest it be abandoned.”

More defeat dogged Sue Wallis and United Horsemen counterpart, horse-trainer Dave Duquette, when it was announced that the 2nd Annual Summit of the (Slaughter) Horse, a conference designed to convince the general public that eating pets is a good thing, would be “rescheduled” to sometime in January of next year.  That’s not a rescheduling in our books; that’s an outright cancellation.

In 2011,  Patricia Fazio, PhD, President of the Cody-based Wyoming Animal Welfare Network, filed charges last year that alleged that Sue Wallis, a Wyoming State Representative, attempted to defraud horse slaughter supporters out of $30,000 in a bogus truck raffle and that Sue Wallis had sponsored and voted on bills in which she had a financial interest.  Although the truck allegations were dismissed the remainder of the investigation is still running at full throttle against the embattled Wyoming State Rep.

From a Canadian perspective, DesBarres’ association with Wallis and Kemseke earns him a blazing refutation as a representative of Canadian horse owners and horse groups. Together, the  alliance of Wallis/DesBarres/Kemseke maintains that horse slaughter is necessary in North America in order to deal with the numbers of homeless or “unwanted” horses – the IEBA is a soapbox upon which they stand to deliver their dubious claims to an unsuspecting public.  The reality is that slaughter is not an end-of-life solution, but one that fulfills a demand for horsemeat in the EU and Japan – a lucrative demand that has filled the pockets of foreign plants such as Belgian Chevideco, who apparently expect taxpayers to fund the costs of their business enterprises as well as any environmental clean-up that may entail.  Typically,  Chevideco invests no money of their own, and pay imaginative accountants good money to circumvent paying taxes while on U.S. soil;  Dallas Crown continued to bedevil the town of Kaufman despite efforts by Mayors Paula Bacon and  Harry Holcomb and the Kaufman City Council.  By virtue of his connection with the IEBA, DesBarres and HWAC are actively endorsing and supporting individuals and businesses that have flouted the law, often with disdain for taxpayers.  So long as the criticism is going to rain down on these three (and it surely is) I suggest that they consider building themselves an ark.  The more I read about the whole slaughter enterprise,  the more I realize I’m in need of some sort of prophylactic.

Paint Horses

The IEBA is now offering a “Charter Membership” which includes, among other “benefits,” “Legal defense network and protection from activist attack.”  Much of their mission statement and purpose was developed in lockstep with United Horsemen and the Cavalry Group, both extremist pro-slaughter organizations.  Horse owners, please be advised that this group, in order to implement its business plan and charter, will stipulate that you have your pleasure horses and pets tracked from birth to death, all to satisfy foreign countries’ appetites for horsemeat, whilst lining the pockets of Sue Wallis, Chevideco, and Bill DesBarres and the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada.  The statements made by both Wallis and DeBarres constitute a logician’s nightmare.  Neither Americans nor Canadians will withhold humane veterinary care of our horses just so we can ethically say they are “healthy and safe” to eat so we can sell their bodies at the end of their lives.   Myself,  I will never apply for membership in my provincial organization again,  nor will I purchase liability insurance from a carrier that indirectly endorses slaughter.  I will obtain liability insurance from my own insurance carrier.  We, the compassionate horse people of Canada, must use our time productively to get Bill C-322 passed!

If you find any of the above information unacceptable to you as a horse owner or advocate, please be aware that the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada is allied with the following business partners – please let them know that you hold them all to a higher standard than that maintained by an alliance with the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada,  the International Equine Business Association, and Sue Wallis:

Provincial Organizations

British Columbia
Horse Council
Orville Smith
President
Lisa Laycock
Executive Director
27336 Fraser Highway
Aldergrove, BC
V4W 3N5
Phone: 604-856-4304
Fax: 604-856-4302
Toll Free: 1-800-345-8055
Email
Alberta
Equestrian Federation
Dixie Crowson
President
Sonia Dantu
Executive Director
100, 251 Midpark Blvd S.E.
Calgary, AB
T2X 1S3
Phone: 403-253-4411
Fax: 403-252-5260
Toll Free: 1-877-463-6233
Email
Saskatchewan
Horse Federation
Terry Fagrie
President
Mae Smith
Executive Director
2205 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK
S4P 0S4
Phone: 306-780-9244
Fax: 306-525-4009
Email
Manitoba
Horse Council
Geri Sweet
President
Bruce Rose
Executive Director
145 Pacific Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 2Z6
Phone: 204-925-5718
Fax: 204-925-5703
Email
Ontario
Equestrian Federation
Allan Ehrlick
President
Deborah Thompsen
Executive Director
Suite 203
9120 Leslie Street
Richmond Hill, ON
L4B 3J9
Phone: 905-854-0762
Fax: 905-709-1867EmailToll Free: 1-877-441-7112
Email
Quebec
Fédération équestre du Québec
Dominique Chagnon
President
Richard Mongeau
Executive Director
4545 Ave Pierre de
Coubertic CP 1000
Succursale M
Montreal, PQ
H1V 3R2
Phone: 514-252-3053
Fax: 514-252-3165
Email
New Brunswick
Equestrian Association
Deanna Phalen
President
Suite 13
900 Hanwell Road
Fredericton, NB
E3B 6A2
Phone: 506-454-2353
Fax: 506-454-2363
Email
Nova Scotia
Equestrian Federation
Helen Smith
President
Heather Myrer
Executive Director
5516 Spring Garden Road
4th Floor
Halifax, NS
B3J 1G6
Phone: 902-425-5450 Ext 333
Fax: 902-425-5606
Email
PEI
Horse Council
Ken Smith
President
Joy MacDonald
EC Representative
POB 1887
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N5
Phone: 902-964-2379
Email
Newfoundland
Equestrian Federation
Chris Gallant
President
34 Circular Road
St. John’s, NF
A1C 2Z1
Phone:709-726-0826
Fax: 709-777-4558
Email

Mailing address:
Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada
Box 785, Cochrane, Alberta
T4C 1A9

Bill DesBarres: Tel: 403-526-1070 Cell: 403-529-7237
http://horsewelfare.ca/contact

Please support Pro-Horse Initiatives at the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition:

Please support Bill C-322 to end horse slaughter in Canada

Please support Bill C-322 to end horse slaughter in Canada

www.defendhorsescanada.org

All artwork copyright Heather Clemenceau (use with permission only)